Wolfsberg lithium project, Austria – update

14th July 2023 By: Sheila Barradas - Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

Wolfsberg lithium project, Austria – update

Photo by: © Bloomberg

Name of the Project
Wolfsberg lithium project.

The mine and concentrator site are located about 20 km east of Wolfsberg, and the hydrometallurgical plant is located to the south of Wolfsberg, in Austria.

Project Owner/s
European Lithium.

Project Description
Wolfsberg has measured, indicated and inferred resources of 12.88-million tonnes grading 1% lithium oxide.

The Wolfsberg definitive feasibility study (DFS) plans an average mine production rate of 780 000 t/y, peaking at 840 000 t/y over the life-of-mine (LoM), which is based on an ore reserve of 11.48-million tonnes, mined over 14.6 years.

The DFS envisages two integrated operations, a mining and processing operation to produce a lithium concentrate (spodumene), and a hydrometallurgical plant to convert the spodumene into battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate.

The hydrometallurgical plant is planned to produce an estimated 8 800 t/y of lithium hydroxide monohydrate, with a total production of about 129 000 t of lithium hydroxide monohydrate over the LoM.

Total spodumene concentrate production is estimated at 90 000 t, coarse feldspar at 1.95-million tonnes, fine feldspar at 587 000 t, total coarse quartz at one-million tonnes and total fine quartz at 164 000 t.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an after-tax net present value, at a 6% discount rate (weighted average cost of capital), of $1.5-billion and an internal rate of return of 33.3%, with a payback of 6.75 years.

Capital Expenditure
Estimated capital expenditure is estimated at $873-million.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
European Lithium has announced that lithium developer Critical Metals Corp has entered into a share subscription agreement of up to $125-million with private alternative investment group GEM Global Yield Fund.

Proceeds from the facility will be used to fund the development of the Wolfsberg lithium project.

The funding package, along with additional funding secured through the term sheet with Obeikan Investment Group, will provide Critical Metals and European Lithium with significant capital to accelerate the development of the project once the transaction with Nasdaq-listed Sizzle Acquisition Corp is completed.

European Lithium announced a $750-million transaction with Sizzle in 2022, under which it would sell down its interest in the project, and merge with Sizzle through a newly formed lithium exploration and development company – Critical Metals Corp.

On completion of the transaction, European Lithium will be issued $750-million worth of new shares in Critical Metals, which will be listed on Nasdaq, representing a near 80% interest in the combined company.

European Lithium can also earn up to an additional 10% of the ordinary shares in Critical Metals Corp, subject to the ordinary shares of Critical Metals trading above $15 and $20 for any 20 trading days within any 30-trading-day period in the five-year period following closing.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
DRA (DFS); Dorfner Anzaplan (metallurgical testwork in support of DRA process engineering); SENET – South Africa (hydrometallurgical plant study, on behalf of DRA); SRK Consulting (mining engineering and mine capital and operating cost estimates, geotechnical engineering, hydrogeology and ore reserves); Paterson & Cooke (tailings design with capital and operating cost estimate); Orykton Consulting (marketing study spodumene, battery-grade lithium hydroxide and by-products); Mine-IT Sanak-Oberndorfer – Austria (resource evaluation); Umweltbüro – Austria (environmental baseline studies); DLA Piper – Austria (mining law); Haslinger Nagele – Austria (permitting regime) Kärntner Montanindustrie – Austria (liaison with Austrian authorities); Benchmark Mineral Intelligence – UK (marketing study for lithium carbonate/hydroxide); Gambosch Consulting – Australia (analysis of lithium market); Cresco Project Finance – South Africa (financial model, on behalf of DRA); ZAMG – Austria (meteorology seismic snow-wind loads for both project sites).

Contact Details for Project Information
European Lithium, tel +61 8 6181 9792 or email info@europeanlithium.com.